A general mass spectrometry-based assay for the quantitation of protein-ligand binding interactions in solution

J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Sep 4;124(35):10256-7. doi: 10.1021/ja026574g.


A new method that utilizes matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry and exploits the hydrogen/deuterium (H/D) exchange properties of proteins was developed for measuring the thermodynamic properties of protein-ligand complexes in solution. Dissociation constants (Kd values) determined by the method for five model protein-ligand complexes that included those with small molecules, nucleic acids, peptides, and other proteins were generally in good agreement with Kd values measured by conventional methods. Important experimental advantages of the described method over existing methods include: the ability to make measurements in a high-throughput and automated fashion, the ability to make measurements using only picomole quantitities of protein, and the ability to analyze either purified or unpurified protein-ligand complexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ligands
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*
  • Thermodynamics


  • Ligands
  • Proteins